Giving Designers Feedback

The other day, Carman and I were discussing how rare it is to receive appropriate feedback from clients. It’s not that our clients aren’t intelligent and resourceful people (they are!), it’s just that they (and all businesses/organizations) have a hard time judging design on the merits of the communication job its trying to do.

As an example, many people will focus on colour and personal likes and dislikes when looking at a mockup or logo comp. While it is useful to know that your children aren’t fans of green, it’s important to remember that the logo or website doesn’t belong to you, even if it represents you. It belongs to your customers and if they will relate better to a certain shade of baby poop green, there may be a good reason for using it. Not always, but sometimes.

In any event, this post isn’t about how to give designers feedback, but instead I’m looking for examples of really appropriate or inappropriate feedback to incorporate into my presentation for the AIM Conference next week. I have lots of my own, but I don’t doubt that others have lots to add. Please email me with your stories (don’t name names if it’s really bad).

My presentation will include some of these stories, but it will also include great ways to give objective and useful feedback to your design and development team to ensure that you’re getting the best work you can out of them. I’ll be talking about what words like ‘modern’ really mean and how best to provide direction. I look forward to seeing everyone at AIM next week.

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